The Grey (2012)

the_grey_2012-2560x1600Roze-Rating: 4 / 5

Liam Neeson stars in this survival thriller, taking place in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness after his plane crashes leaving him and his colleagues stranded as Wolf prey. They are totally exposed in a barren land of snow and freezing temperatures, making them fight for their lives. It’s a film which explores hope, faith and fate, when in a situation where only your own will to live can save you.

One of the better survival thrillers around and definitely one of the most unique films this year. I’ve actually never seen a film which depicts such a disastrous situation as scarily as this. I mean what’s more scary than being in a plane crash? and then on top of that, you end up crashing in the middle of nowhere, where the temperatures are below zero, and on top of that you have to fend off uncharacteristically brutal wolves who just want to kill you. Even though some of the scenes are inevitable, you’re actually so immersed in the film that you second guess every seemingly predictable moment.

The isolated afflicted tone of the film is what gives the themes explored justice, and it really keeps your heart pumping for the characters involved. They succeed simply because of the dark greyish aesthetics and eerie music which is inhabited throughout the film. The filming is rugged and shaky matching the scenario the characters are in, it just wouldn’t have been effective if the camera shots were still and precise. All of this truly adds to the thrills and gets you sweating as it did for me.

Liam Neeson and co steal the show with some believably gritty performances, which doesn’t just aid the story but makes you genuinely want them to survive. The characters do this through their dialogue and their attitudes in the situations, they effectively promote the themes of hope, faith and fate. It’s their faith that keeps them going because they believe that it was their fate to survive the plane crash. Hope is all they have.

Once again Liam Neeson is truly amazing in this, really showing his true acting chops. The last few scenes are honestly the most powerful scenes I’ve seen in a film this year, pretty epic stuff.

I for one is shit scared of wolves now, I know a lot of it is exaggerated and fictionalized but still, if I was alone in the wilderness and saw a wolf, I think I would excrete from every hole in my body, PERIOD.

The Expendables 2 (2012)

2012-The-Expendables-2_1920x1200Roze-Rating: 4.5 / 5

The Expendables come back for a second go at a full on action flick. This time they have new members Billy (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) who help take on money hungry savage Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) who has no conscience about the destruction he causes along the way to fortune. His actions prompt Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his men to track him, find him then kill him.

I really wasn’t a fan of the first one, I enjoyed the action but everything else was just pure… fail. The acting was terrible, dialogue cliched and the plot was just stupid. Thankfully Mr. Stallone has recognized a few of the problems and fixed them quite successfully, but of course he forgot a few.

The cast has some how gotten awesomer from the first film with introductions of Liam Hemsworth and Chuck Norris and more screen time from Bruce Willis and “The Terminator” Arnold Schwarzenegger. Action junkies will be pumped just by seeing all these action stars together, and that alone is satisfying, as it was for me. Although not all of them put in their best performances, and well there’s a reason that I’ve had a blind eye towards it. It’s unusual because you can really separate the real actors from the action stars. That being said, a lot of them did improve since Expendables 1, and Jean-Claude Van Damme makes a brutal villain, and he plays it to perfection; one of the only good performances.

The action is relentless as it should be and plays tribute to all of the past action classics. It’s loud, violent and unnecessary which is what makes it a lot of fun. It even improved in that aspect of the film. This is what I think was done a lot better than the first, it had clear intentions, which was to pay tribute to these action stars past films and parody them. This will become apparent when you see Arnold Schwarzenegger tell the crew “I’m back!” and when he replies to Bruce Willis with a “Oh yippee-kai-yay”. This film doesn’t takes itself seriously which is where the first film really faulted. This made me look past the below par acting and stale dialogue, because the film isn’t meant to be “excellent”, its meant to be mindless, gratuitous, blood stained fun. It finds the right balance between fun and seriousness.